Vintages Pre-Release Tasting—Tuscany and Chile

October 23, 2014

Reported by Kim Inksater

The Tuscany and Chile Vintages Pre-Release was a hit. Guild Director, Matt Steeves, lead a full house of wine enthusiasts through four tasty flights. Two of the flights were from Chile and two were from Tuscany. Wines ranged in price from $15.95 to $99.95, and the group managed to take away a shopping list of terrific high-quality, low-priced wines, as well as several higher-priced gems too. Surprisingly, in the first three flights, the lowest-priced wine was the fan favourite! Needless to say, everyone present was planning on picking those up on Saturday morning.

Flight 1

Castello Della Sala Bramito del Cervo Chardonnay (Italy), 2013, $21.95, 176792
Pale straw; aromas of apple, pear, peach, orange blossom,vanilla, minerality; flavours of apple, pear, citrus; medium acidity. 3rd favourite.

Montes Outer Limits Sauvignon Blanc (Chile), 2013, $19.95, 389643
Pale straw; standard sauvignon blanc aromas of cat’s pee, asparagus, lemon-lime; flavours – herbaceous, lemon-lime. 2nd favourite.

Ventisquero Queulat Gran Riserva Pinot Noir (Chile), 2012, $15.95, 389213
Translucent, red with garnet hue; aromas of red fruit, herbaceous, white pepper, jam, baking spice; flavours of cherries,cranberry, leather; dry, low tannins, light body; the majority rated this the best of the flight (least expensive too!).

Flight 2 (All Chile)

Miguel Torres Cordillera de los Andes Syrah (Chile), 2010, $19.95, 389700
Opaque, deep ruby. Aromas: plum, earthy, eucalyptus, mushrooms, dark chocolate. Flavours: dark berries, leather, dark chocolate; dry, significant acidity for a syrah. Least favourite.

Emiliana Coyam (Chile), 2011, $29.95, 63891
Opaque, deep ruby; aromas: cherries, berries, tobacco, cedar, leather; dry, chocolate/cocoa on finish; a blend of syrah, carmenere, merlot, cab sauv, malbec and mouvedre. 2nd favourite.

Caliterra Tributo Single Vineyard Carmenere (Chile), 2011, $16.95, 56630
Opaque, dark ruby. Aromas: smoke, baking spice, forest floor, earthy, green (bell peppers), vanilla, licorice, ripe berries. Flavours: dark cherries, berries, vanilla, licorice, leather. Medium-high tannins, medium acidity. 90% carmenere, plus petit verdot. Overall favourite of the flight (least expensive too!).

Flight 3 (All Tuscan)

Leonardo Chianti Riserva, 2010, $19.95, 164707
Ruby with garnet rim; Aromas: black fruit, figs, prunes, leather, earthy, allspice, violets, anise, alcohol. Flaours: leather, dark dried fruit, dark chocolate. Dark fruit/anise on finish. More oak? Second favourite of flight among tasters.

Roggiano Morellino de Scansano, 2012, $16.95, 946954
Ruby. Aromas: stewed prunes, pepper, florla, dried fruit. Flavours: dried fruit, leather, chocolate, dry, some acidity. 100% sangiovese. Tied for 3rd among tasters.

Castello D’Albola Riserva Chianti Classico, 2008, $22.95, 315150
Ruby, garnet rim. Aromas: leather, dark chocolate, musty at first, plums, cloves. Flavours: sour cherry, leather, little flavour (me). I found this light and shorter finish. Others differed. 100% sangiovese. Tied for 3rd.

Rocca de Castagnoli Chianti Classico, 2011, $17.00, 222810
Ruby Aromas: licorice, cola, dark chocolate, fresh tobacco leaves. Flavours: licorice, dark chocolate. Dry. Leather on finish. Medium-long finish. More complex, good structure. Can age. Overall favourite of the flight (least expensive too!).

Flight 4 (All Tuscan)

Luce (Luce della Vite) (Super Tuscan), 2011, $99.95, 685263
Opaque, ruby, purple hue. Aromas: chocolate, alcohol, baking spices, vanilla, fruit, coconut. Flavours: dark fruit, oak, fruit cake. Medium high tannins, a bit grippy. Well balanced. Could age more. A super Tuscan blend of merlot 55% and Sangiovese 45%. Popular wine, about 1/3 of the tasters liked this one best in this flight.

Badia Passignano Antinori Chianti Classico Riserva, 2009, $44.95, 384552
Translucent, ruby with garnet/brick. Aromas: red berries, licorice, figs, dark chocolate, pepper, cloves, tobacco, leather. Flavours: chocolate, red fruit, dried cherries, raisins. Dry, low acidity, medium tannins, smooth, elegant, balanced. #1 favourite among tasters.

Ruffino Modus (Super Tuscan), 2011, $29.95, 912956
Opaque, dark ruby, purple hue. ARoas: smoke, leather, savoury herbs, dark stewed fruit, mocha, toasted barrels. Flavours: stewed fruit, chocolate, mocha, leather. Very oaky. Dry. Osso bucco suggested pairing. Good deal. ~1/3 of tasters liked this wine best of the flight.

Livio Sassetti Pertimali Brunello di Montalcino, 2007, $45.95, 287284
Garnet. Aromas: figs/dried fruit, leather, violets, dark chocolate, earthy, menthol. Flavours: leather, dark chocolate, dried fruit. Although a great wine, the least amount of tasters chose this as the best in this flight.

During the discussion, one of our members noted an article in Decanter magazine that talked about the new Chianti Classico classification. You’ll find that here.